News

HookUp fishers’ lucky escape after boat smashed onto reef

Cameron Winter and Peter Wolsey.
Cameron Winter and Peter Wolsey.

ONE HookUp competitor has told of his lucky escape after wild weather on Saturday morning left him and a mate with no choice but to hit the water and swim to safety through 2.5m swells.

Rockhampton man Cameron Winter was fishing with friend Peter Wolsey about 7.30am on the second day of the competition when a mishap with their anchor rope due to a sudden wind change caused their 5m boat to smash onto the reef at Mast Head Island, leaving them with no choice but to take to the ocean.

"We swam about 500m in pretty rough seas," Mr Winter said.

"We just bailed with our life jackets and boardies and it was a pretty rough swim."

After catching a seven-foot reef shark in the same area the night before, it was a nerve-wracking swim for the men, who suffered minor cuts from the reef as they abandoned their sinking boat.

"The sharks were pretty thick out there ... I'm thankful we didn't get our legs bitten off by them," he said.

"It was a 2-2.5m swell with chop.

"The waves were big and they were smashing us.

"There was a lot of huffing and puffing on the floor of the boat (Prowler, their rescuer's vessel)."

Mr Winter wished to thank their rescuers, the crew of Prowler, as well as water police, the Volunteer Marine Rescue, Heron Island staff and Lions Club volunteers at the HookUp for their help during and after the incident.

In wake of a relatively incident-free 2014 HookUp, Gladstone Water Police officer in charge Acting Sergeant Neale Whalley praised the actions of fellow competitors on Saturday morning, which saw a potentially tragic accident avoided.

Wayne Johnson, skipper of Prowler, and his crew were on hand to help out Cameron Winter and Peter Wolsey.

Acting Sgt Whalley praised the work of both crews who had stayed close to look after each other.

"It could've turned out a lot worse if that other boat hadn't been there," he said.

"Obviously they did the right thing keeping an eye on each other; it's definitely the right thing to do in that situation."

Topics:  boat safety, boyne tannum hookup, fishing competition, water police




The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

Eight free events to check out in Gladstone this weekend

An aerial shot of Agnes Water main beach. Photo Contributed

You don't have to spend a fortune to have a good weekend.

Latest deals and offers

Kirk Douglas is defiant, fierce and still standing

VETERAN ACTOR: Kirk Douglas has had a long and varied career.

Kirk Douglas has out-lived almost all his contemporaries

The Hard Word reviews Kyzer Soze

Kyzer Soze are playing Brisbane tomorrow at the Crowbar in Fortitude Valley. Photo Contributed

Kyzer Soze summon the evil for this mighty slab of death metal

Britney Spears 'almost drowned' in Hawaii

Britney Spears has revealed she 'almost drowned' while on holiday

Doco reveals real story behind Black Hawk Down

Former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant shares his story, which helped to inspire the movie Black Hawk Down, in the TV series No Man Left Behind.

FORMER pilot recounts ordeal which inspired a Hollywood movie.

What's on the big screen this week

Toby Kebbell and Jack Huston in a scene from the movie Ben-Hur.

AN OLD classic returns to the big screen with a new young star.

Bachelor Richie gives bacon-loving Noni the boot

Noni Janur features on this season of The Bachelor.

TOOWOOMBA swimwear designer still single but focusing on her career.

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Gladstone landlords in trouble with Bechtel job losses

"If a big project was announced tomorrow I wouldn't want to see it"

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.